Lawrence Strikes But Under-18s Beaten By Leeds

Emilio Lawrence was on target for Everton Under-18s but the young Blues were beaten 4-1 by Leeds United at Finch Farm on Saturday.

Lawrence hit a first-half leveller after Luca Ty Thomas had opened the scoring, but three Leeds goals in the final 10 minutes saw the away side secure maximum points.

Leeds started the game positively and in the ninth minute Everton goalkeeper Patrick Nash recovered brilliantly to deny Thomas after kicking the ball against the Leeds forward – before scrambling back to grab the ball and prevent a certain goal. 

Lawrence, Everton’s brightest spark in the first half, rattled the crossbar on 14 minutes, his powerful drive cannoning off the upright. 

Nash, who had a busy first 45, was called into action once more on 19 minutes, tipping Cuba Diboe’s long range effort over.

From the resulting corner, however, Thomas gave Leeds the lead, finishing expertly with his left foot after the ball broke loose.

Just four minutes later though, Lawrence restored parity with a stunning strike into the top corner – arrowing a bouncing ball past a helpless Harry Christy.

Martin Sherif broke clean through on goal on 29 minutes, but Leeds managed to get defenders back in time to stop the forward getting his shot away.

Everton came close to taking the lead again before the break, when Jenson Metcalfe was prevented by Christy after some tricky footwork.

Charlie Wilson came to Everton’s rescue in the 44th minute, the defender somehow managing to head Ronnie McGrath’s curling effort over the bar as Nash was beaten.

Lawrence again teased the Leeds defence just moments later, the winger unlucky as his fizzing effort was beaten away by Christy. 

Francis Okoronkwo seen his magnificent shot turned over by the Leeds keeper 10 minutes after the restart – the winger jinking past a couple of players before explosively firing at goal. 

The young Toffees had a penalty claim waved away on the hour mark as Metcalfe appeared to be brought down in the area, but the referee didn’t answer to Everton claims.

Nash was forced to make a save once more in the 69th minute, the young goalkeeper saving with his feet from Thomas after McGrath’s through ball.  

Substitute Ben Andreucci gave the visitors the lead with 10 minutes remaining, calmly rounding Nash and tapping into an open goal. 

Andreucci then got his second four minutes later to put the game to bed, again coolly finishing in the box. 

Right-back Diboe then added a fourth goal for Leeds deep into stoppage time.

The defeat leaves Everton eighth in the U18 Premier League North table. The young Blues’ next game is at Manchester City on Saturday 12 March.